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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  October 27, 2011 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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in what about bank restructuring? can you talk about that? >> you can, depending on the child. >> there's probably something more stimulating that evening bank bank restructuring. >> or less annoying, less dry. >> less everything. thank you, noah kass. i am dylan and "hardball's" up right now. the flipper ain't no gipper. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, flip-flop the front-runner. mitt romney's become the real-life version of the cartoon that republicans created in the image of john kerry. remember that one? romney's latest 180 on legislation in ohio may have set a land speed record for policy reversals. but it's been the only latest
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example of romney's tendency to sell whoever he's talking to what he thinks they want to hear. romney flip-flopping has even allowed the perry and obama campaigns to find common ground -- exposing mitt. also, how bad has rick perry been in the gop debates? this bad, so bad he's in single digits and he might adopt his texas strategy of avoiding debates. can you get nominated if you're scared to debate? if you duck mitt, can you beat barack? we'll ask the "hardball" strategist that one tonight. plus, there's an anti-abortion vote up for debate in mississippi that would declare a fertilized human egg to be a person. opponents hope a victory for the personhood amendment in mississippi will lead to similar laws in other states. we'll hear from both sides. and which candidate's staff put out this memo about the candidate, do not speak to him unless you are spoken to. who is this, grandpop. and let me finish with the refusal of the tea party to let
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government function. we start with mr. flip and mr. flop. they both go by the name of mitt romney. mark halperin is time magazine editor at large and john heilemann is "new york" magazine's national political columnist. gentleman, let's take a look at this full screen from "the boston globe's" glenn johnson. he wrote this about the concerns about romney. "in recent weeks, mitt romney has given fresh life to the longtime political complaint that he lacks a core. the criticism has been leveled anew both by rival democrats and republicans, who may be hyperbolic as they work to dethrone him as a gop presidential front-runner. the consistency of the complaint, though, underscores a major challenge the former massachusetts governor faces, if he opens to win his party's nomination and unseat president obama just over a year from now. can voters still getting to know him grow to trust what he says?" i go to you, mark, on that question. it doesn't seem to be the most important issue outside of ohio as it is inside ohio, this flip-flopping on this anti-union
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legislation, but it does mark more trouble. >> if this election is about whether mitt romney put his dog on the roof of his car in a family vacation, if it's about his change of positions from candidate in massachusetts to a national candidate, he can't win the nomination and he can't win the general election. if it's about the economy and his competence and his usual on-message pattern on the big issue that voters do care about, i think he's got a decent chance to win the election. he'll never live down the reputation of being a flip-flopper. it will be seared in forever. he has to win despite that, he can't erase it. making additional mistakes like he did in ohio, i'm no genius, but it's not helpful. >> the most recent flip-flop, romney said he supported ohio governor john kasich's law to limit collective bargaining in the state. that law to limit collective bargaining is up for a referendum on the ohio ballot in two weeks. but on tuesday romney visited the ohio gop phone bank, where callers were urging voters to back the law. and even on the way to the phone
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back, he didn't sound very supportive of the cause he was going to support. it's very strange, this one. let's listen. >> i'm not speaking about the particular ballot issues. those are under the people of ohio, but i support the effort of the governor to rein in the scale of government. i'm not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives, but certainly supportive of the republican party's efforts. >> i'm not too supportive of ballot initiatives. yesterday romney tried to clean up the mess. let's listen to this version. >> i fully support governor kasich's, i think it's called question two in ohio, fully support that. what i was referring to, i know there are other ballot questions there in ohio, and i wasn't taking a position on those. one of them, for instance, relates to health care and mandates. with regard to question two, which is the collective bargaining question, i am 110% behind governor kasich and in support of that question. >> that was a squirrely moment there.
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and politicians have to adjust to strange questions, but there he was on the way to the phone bank, which is supporting the initiative. he obviously had it on his schedule to go there. his staff must have told him where -- >> got some reporting on this. he was in ohio to do fund-raisers, he was not planning to do that event. he had no press office, press official with him. he wasn't briefed for questions. he got dragged there by his state chairman. >> where was the state chairman dragging him to? >> a victory center for calls not just on that ballot measure, but on everything that's on the ballot in ohio. so he wasn't prepared. that was bad staff work, his campaign acknowledges, and he didn't focus on that one question. >> but he did know -- well, the question was on that question. >> he said -- they say he didn't hear it that way. >> i know they say that. they would say that. >> but the conventional wisdom is, he did this because now the ballot measure is unpopular and it looks -- it's popular and looks like it's going to pass. >> he would be a lot more cheerful about saying the yeah
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if he knew people would agree with him. >> that is not their account of what happened. and it is true he was not scheduled to do that event. that was thrown on at the last moment. bad staff work, didn't prepare him for the possibility, familiarize him with the ballot measures. i will say, if you're mitt romney and you have the history you do, you pay a much bigger price. >> it reminds me of prince charles visiting some island out in the pacific, and i don't know the social moraes here, and then he starts to dance with the people, because that's school. he doesn't seem to really be connected with the sweat of the poor and the working people of ohio and what they're most engaged with this blot initiative. >> this is the one way mitt romney has improved a lot as a candidate since 2008. >> new guinea is the location i was thinking of. prince charles visiting new guinea. >> he is still very awkward and uncomfortable in situations where human interaction is involved. >> electioneering. >> that is a picture that looked a lot like the old mitt romney. he looked uncomfortable trying
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to walk it back. it's a lot of these things, the flip-flopping, a lot of the stories from 2008. the presumption is that they're kind of priced into the stock with mitt romney. people already know these things. i think what we see with rick perry bringing up the illegal immigrant gardener story at the debate, and then this story, his rivals from his nomination think there is traction from bringing up things from 2008 that we thought were kind of dead and buried. and he's personally not reacting to that well on either one of those stories. >> the word flip-flop itself is almost like happy talk. oh, the frisky guy, he switches from one -- these are fairly fundamental positions he switches. let's take a look at the notable ones. one, he was pro-choice when he ran for the senate against ted kennedy, meaning, support abortion rights. now he's for outlawing abortion. that to me is a fairly fundamental flip-flop. ening it's more important to call it that. he championed his state's healthcare program as a model that could be used nationwide. now he says his plan wouldn't
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work across the country. that's fairly fundamental. in '94, he promised to be more pro-gay rights than senator ted kennedy, and now says marriage between a man and woman is the only way it goes. i think we're friendly saying it's just a flip-flop. he seems to take dramatic turns of opinion and belief on major issues. >> on abortion, he admits that he did that. he's not the only person to ever do that in public life. the elder president bush did the very same thing. on those other two issues, i think there's a little more nuance. his argument was, as a republican, i can get more done as a democrat. there's nuance to most of these. but i agree with you, on something like abortion, the fundamental change is so big, he hasn't explained -- >> let me -- >> if that -- >> let me -- let me the turn it on you, here, mark, because you are an analyst, not an opinion guy. when you, when you write your next book,, refer to mitt romney
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as a conviction politician? a conviction politician? >> unlikely. >> okay, thank you. i think that's what we're getting at here. >> but it goes to you -- all these issues go to what is his biggest vulnerability, there is a perception, particularly among conservatives, that he is coreless. he's not someone who has firm beliefs, and certainly not conservative beliefs. if you want to look as to one explanation as to why mitt romney has been stuck at 25% nationally, at 25% or below in every state except for new hampshire, why done conservatives look for somebody else? they don't really believe he is a man of conviction. >> let's get to one of the most important books on politics in recent history, in your book, "game change," you write about the reputation romney had among his fellow republican contestants last time around. "huckabee says, i don't think romney has a soul." >> seen as being someone who doesn't --
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>> let's do -- the biggest threat to president obama's re-election in a person is mitt romney, to me. >> we agree. >> that's probably the most credible person who could take him on in debate, four or five national debates. because the economic circumstances haven't turned around, that's how it would happen, right? you say we're lying on the economy, this is the way to do it. what does the recognition by all characters that he's not a man of conviction do to that prospect? >> it makes him vulnerable to what john kerry was vulnerable to, which is a very well-run, big-spending, incumbent campaign that makes it defined as, this guy's unacceptable. he's too coreless, too convictionless to win. if that's the way the race sets up, romney -- >> -- independent voter will hope that his flip will flop in their direction and he'll end up being a moderate. >> every independent and democrat we know looked at john mccain, when john mccain would say, i have a 30-year record of being pro-life, no one believed
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john mccain was pro-life, everyone thought he was winking, and that was a benefit for him in the general election. there will be some number of voters who will look at him and say, he's really not that conservative. he had to say these things to get the republican nomination, but in fact, he is kind of moderate. he's a pragmatic, centrist kind of governor, and that's going to work to his advantage. in some ways, it could help him to be seen as coreless when it comes to a general election. >> one last question. say there's four factors going on next year this time of year, october, next year. the economy's getting a little better, as it looks like it might be now. a little better. romney's the nominee, he's seen as a flip-flopper still, and still a member of the mormon church, which is absolutely a matter of conviction for him. all those put together, will they discourage voters from voting? >> let me get my ouija board? >> will it discourage voters -- >> i don't think so. i don't think we know all the variables that will be at play a year from now. enthusiasm on the right to beat
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the president is baked in the cake right now, and despite factors you listed, they will turn out to vote. >> a little better economy, lds, and flip-flop. >> conservatives want to be barack obama more than anything, and if this is the guy who gets the nomination, they will turn out for him, because they hate the president. >> and he'll be endorsed by every conservative in the country. >> they'll beat him. >> if they can. >> thank you, mark halperin. what's the name of the next book? just kidding. >> "game change 2." >> "gamier changier." >> coming up, there's an anti-abortion measure on the ballot in mississippi that would actually change a fertilized human egg to be a legal person. if it wins in mississippi, it could go national. we'll get to that next. it's an interesting way to address the abortion issue from the pro-life side. haven't seen it before, it might be a game changer. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. [ man ] i got this citi thank you card
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learn more at here's big news. president obama's standing among african-americans remains rock solid. "the new york times" debunks the conventional thinking out there that the black community is souring on the president and the polls prove it. a pew poll found that 95% of african-americans say they'd vote for president obama versus only 3% who favor mitt romney, of the african-americans. those numbers show no erosion of support compared to the totals obama racked up against mccain in 2008. we'll be right back. ble nutriti? ♪ [ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit plus veggie nutrition new v8 v-fusion smoothie. could've had a v8. your core competency is...competency. and from national.
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welcome back to "hardball." it's one of the most radical anti-abortion measures to appear on a state ballot. on november 8th, this november 8th, mississippi voters will decide whether every fertilized human egg from the moment of conception should be treated as a person. that's an important label,
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because it would outlaw all abortions. it would also make it harder for women to get in vitro fertilization procedures and other measures. they promise to spread their personhood moment to other states in the near future, including florida, michigan, and ohio, among others. according to "the new york times," that's all going to happen. supporters of the measure include both the republican and democratic candidates for governor in the state of mississippi. activists have canvassed house to house and paid for radio and tv ads to get the word out. here's one advertisement the group is using. let's watch it. >> our founding fathers guaranteed all persons life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. but who is a person? >> i am a person. >> i am a person. >> i am a person. >> i am a person. >> regardless of age, race,
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gender, and no matter how small, every human life has infinite value and deserves protection under our laws. think about it. >> wow. well, the pressure is so extreme, some anti-abortion activist organizations, even they have distanced themselves, fearful it would cause a backlash from federal courts. ken blackwell is the senior fellow at the family research counsel, which is backing the measure. mr. blackwell, i've had you on many times. i'm going to give you much time today to make your case. a person, a fertilized human egg, before it attaches to the uterine wall. what would protecting that person mean in terms of the use of an iud or a morning after pill, so-called, that would prevent it from attaching to a uterine wall? what would it do to that person, as you call it? that would apply to what some people say are legal rights for
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them, potential mothers. >> here is what we know. technology as well as public opinion has made it crystal clear that what we have at the moment of conception is a small human being. it is not a glob of tissue. it is not something that can be easily dismissed, defined, and discarded. it is a human being. what we are pushing for, across the country, in ohio, in mississippi, is legislation that recognizes the human nature of that fertilized egg. the questions that you raise, in league with questions that have been raised about fertilization, you know, are questions that are not addressed in this
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legislation. there would be, i am sure, consistent arguments across the body politics about the questions that you have raised. but what this legislation would do would be to recognize that what we are talking about at the moment of conception is a human being, and that would be consistent with science and consistent with a broad cross-section of public opinion. >> well, let me ask you about its implications, as you intend them to be. right now, in a human, a woman's cycle, there will be conception, caused by the joining of an egg with sperm. there will be such a fertilized egg. some of them attach to the uterine wall and develop into young babies. some do not attach. they simply go away. they wash away. would you consider the ones that don't attach, naturally, forget anything to do with artificial technology or science, would you
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consider those fertilized eggs that don't attach to the wall to be people, people, persons? if they just go away? are they just human beings that have gone away and not been developed into babies? but you would consider them persons? >> they would be persons, yes, they would be. >> to what purpose do we do this? do we attach this reality? >> here's the reality. let me use something that some of the reporters who have been dealing with this have been addressing. and that is, ivf, in vitro fertilization. the reality is this, the science has moved us back to an appreciation that there has been a business model that has been used with these ivfs and not a human life model. you know, if you go back to louise brown, the first baby of
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in vitro fertilization, it was a very straightforward proposition. one egg, one embryo, one baby. if you look at what's happening in germany right now, they are going back to one egg, you know, one embryo, one baby. what that suggests to me is that there is a debate, even within the in vitro fertilization medical community about life, when it, in fact, begins, and whether or not we should be using business models or whether we should recognize when human life begins and what we do is fight to give that human life every possibility of blossoming into a full, productive life. >> you know what i think? i've let you give your position. i think this is what we call in football an end run. i believe whatever else it is, it is an attempt to outlaw, ban the right of a woman to have an
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abortion, no matter what else you're talking about here, that will be the implication, under the law. there's no other reason to go this direction. >> chris, chris -- >> that's why you're doing it. >> chris, i've been engaged for four decades in the pro-life movement. i am not a doctor -- >> and that's what this is. >> i am not a lawyer. i am not a doctor, i am not a lawyer. but i am one who believes in the human dignity of the human life. no different than the pope. no different than god blessing jerry folwell. no different than millions of men and women who have taken a stand for life. this is not an end run, this is not a game. this is a pro-life movement. >> and let me tell you my you h
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haven't been engaged in a multiplicity of movements. >> you know me, chris, and you know that that's not the case. >> we're going to be joined by her right now. she's written about the mississippi measure. michelle, tell me about the purposes of this amendment in the mississippi constitution. is it to simply, in effect, outlaw a woman's right to have an abortion? >> well, it's absolutely meant to ban abortion, all abortion.
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they wouldn't say things like the ivf would be allowed under this measure. because it wouldn't. once you say that a fertilized egg is a human being, like you or me, you change -- i mean, you're not just kind of changing -- you're not just changing the law in the way it affects abortion, you are radically changing the definition of pregnancy, which now the medical definition of pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall, and you are going -- it's going to have all of these second order effects, not just on women who are trying to prevent pregnancy, but on women who are absolutely desperate to get pregnant. some of the women who i have spoke to, who are kind of the most panicked about this
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measure, are infertile women in mississippi, who know that this is going to radically curtail their chances of getting pregnant with ivf. >> i just wonder how it squares with the writings of the constitution, and people who believe in the original intent. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness relates to people who are alive, living, and born, pursuit is a word, an active verb. i don't think you would associate that with a fetus. and liberty is a word you would apply to people who are alive and born. i don't know what it means to say an unborn person has liberty. i don't know how you could possibly catch up, in its original intent, to what these people are talking about. >> and one thing, when you say an unborn person or a fertilized egg has liberty, you're saying that a woman doesn't. because, again, what we're talking about here is, you know, these people pretend to be kind of small government libertarians, it's hard to imagine a more kind of radical intrusion into people's lives. you know, they seem to want
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government out of our medicare, but in our uteruses. this is -- you know, forced pregnancy, forced pregnancy and dictating to women the kind of birth control they can use, the kind of help that they can seek out when they find themselves unable to get pregnant, it shows such a profound disrespect for women's liberty and women's autonomy and women's ability to make their own decisions. >> i think they ought of those million people marches for life against young men having unprotected sex with young women with no intention of having a child. you want to stop abortion, you stop the circumstances that lead to people who feel they have to have one. this is so logical and they don't do it. they just want to prevent people from having a free will at a certain point, is what they're really up to. anyway, thanks, michelle. we'll do more report on this. i think it's an end run on the constitution. up next, the raging cajun unloads on the republican field. catch carville doing what
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carville does next, he's a smart guy, in the sideshow, up next on msnbc. endless shrimp is our most popular promotion
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back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up, so much for sugar coating it. you didn't expect democratic strategist james carville to be heaping praise on any of the republican presidential candidates, but he's now throwing verbal punches at the front-runners like you've never seen. let's hear carville's strategy for figuring out when mitt romney's about to make another one of those well-known flip-flops we talked about earlier. >> the man is a serial wind sock. anytime that you turn around, it's something else. and once he uses any kind of adjective in front of it, you know he's getting ready to flip-flop. if he's very committed to it, that means he's going to change positions. and if he's 110% for something, that means he's changing positions. >> here he is on the subject of rick perry. >> the best thing rick perry could go for himself and his
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family and his friends is just get out of the race and go back to texas. this man is evidently not up to this. he had plenty of chances to do it. he can't debate, he can't give a position, he can't poll a position paper, he can't go on television. >> i love the bottom line, the way he talks. carville and perry can agree on one thing, debates are not rick's strong suit. next up, put the birther talk to bed. well, rick perry, he welcomed the obama birth certificate hysteria back into the conversation, as you know, this week, and later insisted he was just joking. but at least one of other members of the 2012 field has had enough of this talk. >> when i see one of my colleagues, governor perry, who starts talking about birtherism again, i cringe. i say, as a party, if we're going to win this election, we've got to focus on the issues that are germane for the american family. it's been settled, folks. it's been settled. the president's a citizen of the united states. i mean, how much more do we have
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to talk about it? let's move on to the real issues of the day. >> do you think that did the trick? only until donald trump again stated that perry's original remarks were, quote, good for him, in the republican primary just a few hours later. good for him. thanks, donald. up next, how's this for a profile in courage. rick perry plans to duck debates. again, how's he going to debate obama if he can't debate romney? you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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i'm hampton pearson with your cnbc market wrap. a massive rally losing steam in the final hour of trading. the dow jones industrial soared 339 points to finish well above the 12,000 point benchmark. the s&p 500 jumping 42. the nasdaq surging 87 points.
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a deal on greek debt, strong corporate earnings, and solid economic growth here at home all teaming up to bring investors back to the markets. one analyst calls it an excellent step in the right direction. eurozone ministers and lenders agreeing on a deal to slash greek's debt in half. u.s. and european banks benefited big-time with morgan stanley leading the way with an impressive 17% bump. meanwhile, u.s. gdp growing at a rate of 2.5%. it's the fastest pace in a year and a big improvement over last quarter, and a busy earnings day. dow chemical, exxonmobil, procter & gamble and visa all ending higher after delivering their quarterly results. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." well, rick perry's got a new
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strategy. it involves a lot less debating and a lot more one-on-one politicking. in short, his so-called texas strategy amounts to the less you know about me, the more you'll like me. plus, it's been a rough week for marco rubio. his political biography is heavy on his personal story. he said he was the son of cuben exiles after castro grabbed cuba. turns out, he's more accurately the son of immigrants like so many other people who came here from latin america. tonight the strategists tackle these tough issues. steve mcmahon is a democratic strategist and john feehery is a republican strategist. let's go to john. we'll give you a chance to explain it. on saturday of a faith and freedom banquet in iowa, perry made light of his debate performances. let's listen to the man. >> we are not called to be perfect. if any of you have watched my debate performances over the last three or four times, you know i am far from perfect.
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>> you know, he's trying to make light of that. on tuesday, perry said maybe doing the debates was a mistake. let's listen, he keeps moving in this direction. >> these debates are set up for nothing more than to tear down the candidates. it's pretty hard to be able to sit and lay out your ideas and concepts with a one-minute response. if there was a mistake made, it was probably ever doing one of the -- ever doing one of the campaigns when all they're interested in stirring it up between the candidates. >> yesterday perry's campaign manager said they were trying a new strategy, "we immediate to be spending time, particularly as the last entrant, with voters, doing town halls, retail politics, and local media in the early states." he added that perry would do the next scheduled debate on cnbc on november 9th, but would pick and choose after that. john, debates don't hurt everybody. i notice that herman cain is doing really well, thanks to the
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debates. mitt romney's doing really well thanks to the debate. it doesn't cut up everybody. it's the guys who are not very good at it who do badly. >> you know, somebody once wrote in a book, to shine a spotlight on your problems, and i thought that's what rick perry was doing right there. >> it was bobby kennedy. thank you for that, sir. he's doing it there. he sure is. i can't talk, is a heck of a problem. >> he's not much of a debater, no doubt about it, and i think that's a fairly smart strategy to turn away from that. most importantly for him, go back to a texas strategy that did work. he's a much better retail politician than he is a debater. and the other problem is, these day, debates have completely defined him. he's not been able to get any real earned media out of anything else. he finally laid out a tax plan last week and got some good press on that. all the other stuff, most of the bad press he's been getting has been from debates. what the heck. you might as well announce you're not going to do every debate they ask you to do. >> he behaves strangely in
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debate, with that big collar of his. sometimes i think it's going to retract -- his head is going to retract into the collar like a turtle. he doesn't seem to like being there physically. >> you know what this is, chris, it's the strategy, the ropeadope strategy without a rope. if people are concerned you're not quite ready for prime-time, the answer is to give them some reason that you think you are. the answer is to stop showing up in prime-time to prove their point. >> let's do tactics. people tell me there's a couple other candidates. republicans don't like the front-runner. they're always looking for somebody else to put up there, because they don't like the person who's up there. newt gingrich, people tell me, is going to start going well into double digits now, if there's no perry in the debate showing up. he'll just take his place as the right-winger against romney. will that happen? i'm asking you an open question.
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>> i don't think so, chris. i think this is still pretty much a two-person race, as romney versus perry. at some point in time, the voters are going to say, we're not going to take a flyer on herman cain anymore and go with rick perry who's conservative. i think that's what mitt romney's got to be careful of. >> you've already done that, right, john? >> what's that? >> you've already done what you just said? you've already decided on romney. >> well, you know, i'm unaffiliated right now. >> he's following. >> okay. i know where you're headed. i know where there's more opportunity ahead with romney. nothing wrong with that. anyway, marco rubio made his personal story as the son of exiles as a big part of his biography and here's an ad from his senate campaign. let's listen to it. >> it's not something i read about in a book. as the son of exiles, my parents were born into a society pretty much like any other in the world, where if you're not from the right family or with another money, you can only go so far. >> well, there it is. today's politico reports that
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rubio may face criticism from the hispanic community outside florida. it quotes the founder of a group saying he's a laughingstock in the southwest, because people discovered he wasn't telling the truth about his political cuban exi exile story. at the end of the day, he's just like us. his mom and dad came here, they migrated because of economic reasons, just like the rest of us. so many latin americans come here to get jobs, and most of the cubans came because castro kicked them out of the country. he's much more like a regular latin american immigrant, a fine thing to be, but not the same thing as being an anti-communist freedom fighter, which is what he sold himself as. >> it's not the same. and i think he's been inelegant and inartful in his language. because he said at different times he's the son of an immigrant and said at different times, he's the son of exiles. >> he said he came here after castro came in. >> i know, i know.
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and frankly, there have been some things that have been said on behalf on his website and other places that are very, very clear. there's some things he said himself that are much less clear. and i think it's a big problem for him. i'm not suggesting it otherwise, but i'm not sure that he was a systemic liar. >> is he out as a vp nominee? >> i think he's out -- >> john, do you think he's out as a vp nominee? >> chris, let me say this is the biggest bogus story. this group is a pro-amnesty group in arizona. he's not out as a vp. if we put him on the ticket as a vice presidential candidate, it will be a huge boost to the ticket. marco rubio is a star. he's going to continue to be a star. this reminds me of what the democrats tried tooed with miguel estrada. >> were his statements accurate about coming here in '59? is his website accurate about saying he came after castro or not? >> who cares? >> who cares? why'd he say it? >> it's a bogus story.
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>> no, bogus is -- >> john, who cares -- >> the cuban community doesn't care? >> they're all circling the wagons. that is not exactly a truth test. you know what bogus is, is his website and all his statements. go check media matters, quote after quote after quote saying i came here after castro. >> oh, so what? marco rubio a great candidate and he'll be a great vice presidential candidate. >> he's allowed to sate. he's a great guy. that's what the shows about, people arguing inarguable positions. up next, herman cain's risen top top of the polls, but his campaign withstand the scrutiny that comes with being a front-runner. this guy is more fun than any of them. this is "hardball" on msnbc.
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well, mitt romney leads or ties for first place in the first four states with caucuses or primaries, according to the new polls from cnn. let's get the numbers from the ha"hardball" scoreboard. in iowa, romney at 24%, cain at 21. that's within the margin of
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error. ron paul's down at 12, at third. in new hampshire, big win for romney, still with a big lead, 40%. he's moving up. still well ahead of cain, at 13. in south carolina, romney's at 25, cain's at 23. i think that's the dealmaker for one or the other guy. and in florida, romney's at 30, cain's at 13. newt gingrich and perry tie for third place at 9. romney, four for four right now. i think his brother, jeb, helped him in florida. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] the network. a living, breathing intelligence that is helping business rethink how to do business. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪
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near the top of the polls, we've all seen that, he's going to have to get used to greater scrutiny and being pounded by all sides. "the new york times" talked with former cain staffers who say his campaign is who said his campaign is chaotic, was told that everything we tried to do was like pulling teeth to get it accomplished. the former staffer asked for anonymity, of course. we couldn't get an answer on everything, everything was fly by the seat of your pants. ron reagan is a political commentator, author, and dana mill babank milbank. >> in fact, the numbers you read just a few minutes ago show that, but he's polling well nationally, but the elect isn't won nationally, but in the early primary states where romney is very strong. what you have with cain is he's become this phenomenon, flavor of the month. >> was he just on a book tour?
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>> he was, in the south. >> it's working. >> it's going to make some money for him. >> let me show you -- he's talking about having a bull's-eye on his back. let's take a look at this. here it is. i don't know how many of you saw that last debate. i didn't realize the bull's-eye was that big. they came after me like i had talked about their mama. it's sort of regular street corner talk, but he's like trying to set it up so if they go after him, there's something wrong with them. he's should be immunized against attack. >> well, he better be careful what he wishes for if he wants to be a froont runner. he's going to draw more scrutiny, and that scrutiny will find him wanting, i'm afraid. there is real suspicion that herman cain is not actually running for president, he's on a book tour. he hasn't built the organizations in the early states you would expect a
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serious presidential candidate to do, and he's not acting like a serious presidential candidate in many ways. >> you know what he's good at? not being mitt romney. >> yes, that's right. >> which is the main role he's been cast for, dana, whether he ever asked for it or not, he is not mitt romney. anybody who ain't mitt romney will get a lot of people saying he's the guy i want for president. >> and certainly he's not barack obama. and there's a consensus he's not ready for primetime, but he is ready for late night, so he's been valuable in the entertainment factor. >> rick santorum has gone after him. for the answer he gave rather directly about the issue of a family member if they were raped, where would he be on abortion? >> it comes down to it's not the government's role or anybody
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else's role to make that decision. secondly, if you look at the statistical incidence, you're not talking about that big a number. so what i'm saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. >> "the washington post" described cain's position as, quote, an essentially pro-abortion rights position. and brian fisher of the american family association said "cain's position could have come right out of the planned parenthood playbook. herman cain, the more we learn, the more concerned we become. >> wow. you know, ron, herman cain sounds like my dad used to talk. yeah, i'm pro-life, but it's up to the woman. he thinks he's pro-life, because it sounds better. >> that's exactly right. he has to be pro-life. listen, he's not a serious political candidate, but the
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fact that we're talking about herman cain as a potentiality front-runner in the republican primaries points to the paucity of the republican field. if you squint your eyes real hard, mitt romney looks like he maybe be sort of president, but none of the other people look like they belong anywhere near the oval office. it's really striking. >> last word from you. do you agree with that? this is a weak field. >> unbelievably, and i'm waiting for santorum to make his surge, maybe gary johnson? i don't know. >> i've watched the luck of barack obama all my life -- since he started, he's had no real opponent except for alan keyes. hillary took the wrong side of the war, mccain was at the end of his career, and maybe he was luck -- >> thank you very much. when we return, let me finish with the real reason the approval rating of congress is
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so dirt low right now. here's a hint -- it starts with tea. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro. [ mrs. davis ] i want to find a way to break through. to make science as exciting as a video game. i need to reach peter, who's falling behind.
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and push janet who's 6 chapters ahead. ♪ [ male announcer ] with interactive learning solutions from dell, mrs. davis can make education a little more personal. so every student feels like her only student. dell. the power to do more. you noticed! these clothes are too big, so i'm donating them. how'd you do it? eating right, whole grain. [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios... five whole grains, 110 calories.
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let me finish tonight with this -- here's how government is supposed to work. you have an election, one party wins, on the other party loses. both get the message and do what they're supposed to do. residence won the 2010 congressional elections. they were supposed to come to washington and make a deal with the democrats, one favorable to
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their side and the people who voted for them, but a deal nonetheless. democrats lost the 2010 congressional election. they were supposed to come back to washington, acknowledge the results of the election and agree to a deal with the republicans who want it, that means carving a deal that favors the republican position while not giving it all away. this is how deals should be made. they should favor the parity that just won the election. this is how ron reagan and tip o'neil cut the deal to save social security. the tea party has refused to deal, it refused any bipartisan deal, by insisting the debt ceiling unless the democrats buckled to a big spending cut without a nickel in higher taxes. the results -- that is the way we get a consensus that reflects the will of the american people. the tea party republicans rejected a consensus. they deserve the whack they're not getting in the polls. 9% approves


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